It's World Bee Day!
Let’s celebrate together, raise awareness and do something good for bees.
The main purpose of World Bee Day events is to spread awareness of the significance of bees and other pollinators for our survival.
Simply proclaiming World Bee Day does not do much for bees and other pollinators; the main work of safeguarding their existence still needs to be undertaken.
World Bee Day is an excellent opportunity to put bees at the centre of the national conversation for a day and encourage actions that create more bee-friendly landscapes.
Beekeepers and nature conservationists are united in encouraging improved conditions for bees to build pollination security and to safeguard our food security.
Start in your garden
The widespread use of pesticides is having dire consequences for our bees and our environment.
We all want to protect our produce from opportunistic pests, but how can we achieve this if we put the sprays away?
Meet Robyn, a teacher of permaculture and organic gardening for 40 years and founder of the Permaculture College Australia.
She shares with us some of the most important tips you can use in your garden in order to avoid using nasty chemicals and pesticides.
It’s surprisingly easy to start organic gardening and avoiding pesticides, as the following tips are adaptable to all ecosystems – from balconies, to a small suburban backyard, or large property of acres.
There are 5 areas she shares with us which cover: impact of insecticides, diversity and companion planting, crop rotation, habitat creation, and building resilience in your plants.
Fast Fashion v’s Eco Fashion
Did you know that all of your buying choices have a flow-on effect?
It’s easy to consider the health benefits of reducing your intake of harmful chemicals by eating organic food, however, the choice to buy organic over non-organic is about more than just your health.
Buying organic produce supports organic farming practice, which makes this a commercially viable option for farmers. This has the added bonus of helping farmers to provide clean forage for pollinators and a home which isn’t poisonous.
The simple choice of buying an organic cotton T-shirt over a regular cotton T-shirt means that the thousands of flowers grown to produce it have been able to grow without the use of pesticides. This has an enormous effect on the local surrounding flora and fauna.
“Buy less, demand more!” – Patagonia
Bee friendly gardening practices
Even if you don’t keep bees, planting a bee friendly garden is something anyone can do.
When selecting your garden blooms, make sure to include some local native plants in a variety of different colours.
Bees, like humans, enjoy diversity. Include flowers of different sizes and shapes and plant in clumps to make foraging a breeze.
Find plants that bloom at different times of the year. Support a range of different pollinators throughout the different seasons. Trees and shrubs produce much higher quantities of pollen and nectar, however, smaller plants produce forage more regularly – it’s great to have a selection of both.
Become passionate about rewilding
One of the greatest threats to pollinators is the destruction of habitat.
The clearing of land for development and for agricultural practices, is creating pollinator deserts – not great news for pollinator numbers or our planet.
Thankfully there is plenty we can do to help create pollinator corridors between our wild spaces for habitats affected by land clearing and urbanisation.
Planting foraging resources, such as trees and bee friendly gardens in yards, rooftops and balconies plus creating homes for different varieties of bees by installing pollinator hotels, can help provide stepping stones and may be crucial for bringing some of our important bee species back from the brink of extinction.
Now more than ever, we’re hyper aware of the fragility of our global supply chains and the importance of moving away from our reliance on monoculture farming.
A growing number of people around the globe are responding to these challenges by turning to a more self-reliant lifestyle – from growing their own food, reducing consumption, using renewable energies and fostering community networks.
Not only is becoming more self-sufficient good for our food supply resilience, it’s also good for the world’s bee populations. You’ll enjoy bountiful homegrown produce, and the bees will have more abundant and diverse forage opportunities and increased habitat.
Why honey is “sweeter” than sugar
Most people are aware of the health benefits of ditching refined sugar for alternative sweeteners such as honey, yet many don’t realise that making this change can also have a huge impact on the environment.
The growing and processing of sugar has major environmental impacts, like loss of habitat, excess water usage, heavy use of agro-chemicals, plus water and air pollution which affects localised and downstream ecosystems.
When you compare this process with the incredible positive impact to the environment when you introduce a beehive – the pollination power of up to 5 million flowers a day! – it really is an easy and sweet change to make.
Are you ready to become a bee custodian?
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Many people look upon self-sufficiency and think it requires a large plot of land, but there are a number of ways to integrate the principles of this lifestyle into even the most urban environments – from a small vege patch in the backyard (powered by pollination from your beehive!) to a shared plot in a community garden, to kitchen herb garden, and much more.